The HEA Den
Where romance writers
become romance authors—
Ready to become a
It’s an amazing time to be a romance author.
It’s never been easier to indie publish since the tools and resources, that in years gone by only traditional publishers had access to, are available to anyone!
Becoming a published romance author is within your reach—and possibly a lot sooner than you might have thought possible.
Gone are the days of going it alone, guessing and stressing by yourself.
Published romance authors are authorpreneurs as much as they are writers. They’re always finding new ways to reach readers and build superfans.
Published romance authors are passionate change-makers, doing their part to create more acceptance and love in a hurting world.
The dozens of published romance authors I’ve developed friendships with are generous with their experience and happy to support new authors.
In my opinion, there’s no better job than writing and sharing happily ever afters.
For all these reasons and more, I created the HEA Den.
Inside the HEA Den, we’re all working toward our own happily ever after as romance authors. From first draft to USA Today bestseller, there’s a place for every romance author to contribute and learn, to grow and succeed.
If you’re ready to finish and publish your romance novel, the HEA Den is waiting for you.
"I hadn't done any writing in over six months. Once I started Danika's challenge, I was in motion again and that is really exciting."~ Rori Fichette, pre-published romance author
No lover left behind—or love story writer. That’s our motto. When you declare your intention, whether that’s to spend five minutes a day with your lovers or to write 2,000 words of their story in the next week, your HEA Den mates will hold you accountable, cheer you on, boost you up, and kick your butt if that’s what you need.
We understand that sometimes your need chocolate to motivate your. And sometimes you need that chocolate as a rewardafter you finish what you’ve started. We are your chocolate givers and holders in the form of cheering peers.
Virtually every author hits the wall at some point in their work-in-progress. We doubt our story and our characters’ ability to become three-dimensional. We question our writing process and our own ability to complete what we started. We regret every life decision we’ve made since we turned nineteen.
Left on our own, we authors spin wicked tales about our lack of ability. But in the company of the right people—other romance authors, who’ve been there, done that—we become queens of confidence.
Sure, the people in your life love you. But, do they get you and your romance author ways?
As helpful as my government bureaucrat husband tries to be, he just doesn’t understand what it takes to be an author—from the commitment to write and edit 100,000 words or more, to becoming a small business person who wears all the tiaras—from bookkeeper to marketer to tech support …
Let Stephen King and his lot write alone. We are romance authors and we thrive in community!
The Author Ever After pinky promise
We provide one-of-a-kind mentorship and community support to early career romance authors who want to stop breaking up with their manuscripts and feel the twitterpation of excitement every time they think about spending time with their lovers.
In other words, we make a commitment to stand beside you, to hold your hand (even when it’s sweaty), for better, for worse, through rich metaphors and poor cliches, when stymied and when in flow, to support and encourage, until publication do us part.
Learn beside me
I’m Danika, your friendly, neighborhood USA Today bestselling romance author.
When I’m not torturing bands of brothers and the women who bring them to their knees, I spend my time supporting members of the HEA Den in our Author Ever After community.
I can’t help you become a published author with a pre-recorded course because I won’t know exactly how to be helpful until I meet you and learn where you are in the writing-editing-publishing process.
The best way for me to support you on your journey to publication is through an ongoing relationship.
A place where I can share everything I’ve learned (and am still learning from romance authors a few steps ahead of me) since I started this “let’s become a published author” journey in 2006.
Inside the HEA Den, I’m active in the forum and in direct messages. I host two motivation and accountability masterminds every week and guide members with challenges where I’m right beside you to answer all your questions, shoulder-to-shoulder (with the help of Zoom!).
I also facilitate monthly events where you can get feedback on your writing, meet USA Today bestselling romance authors in a casual Ask Me Anything format, and set concrete, quarterly romance writing goals with built-in accountability.
The HEA Den is where I’m able to personalize your experience and my insights for you and your specific situation. I love it! I know you will, too!
"You were such a caring guide and facilitator. You brought so much heart and love to the community, it felt like you were there just for me."August challenge member
Ready to meet your people?
All the love—none of the drama
Since 2016, I’ve been a tireless cheerleader for authors—and romance authors, specifically—sitting as a volunteer board member of two romance organizations that used to meet in real life, and in the last four years, as a cofounder of a multigenre online community where I host weekly mindset masterminds.
People who work with me become my extended family since these relationships go deep. That’s what happens when people learn and grow and cry in both frustration and celebration together.
And that’s what happens when romance authors join their heads, hearts and hands to support one another. So much falling in love!
Make writer friends to support your true love story!
Writing a romance is a big undertaking with dozens—if not hundreds—of decisions to make. And not just about the color of your lovers’ eyes, their meet cute, their breakup, and the swoon-worthy way you bring them back together.
Oh, no. There are decisions about editors and book covers and early readers and how you’ll publish and if you’ll create large print and audio versions …
Not only that, odds are pretty darned high you’ll face doubt monsters, both from inside your own head and from naysayers in your circle of family and friends who don’t respect romance or think writing romance is a silly hobby or a dumb next career.
It’s no wonder so many people who start to write a romance never finish. Which is more heart-breaking than a hero who cheats after the break-up. (We hates him, we do).
Author Ever After was created to support new romance writers at all stages of the creative and publishing process. It’s a community where you can get help from other romance authors who are either going through or have experienced the same struggles you are or will be. This is your equivalent of Central Perk in Friends, or McLaren’s Pub in How I Met Your Mother—it’s a space where everyone knows your name and is glad you came. Because sometimes, that’s where you want to go!
Inside the Author Ever After community, you’ll get the one-on-one and small group support, motivation, and accountability you need to write your own happily ever—both for yourself and the couple in your story.
So, how does this work?
Each month in the HEA Den, we run a new challenge designed as a super-focused, cohort-based course. These are only available to members of our community.
These challenges vary in length from 8 to 15 actions per month, focused to help you achieve one very specific goal by taking manageable steps.
Our August challenge helped members find new commitment and energy for their romance-in-progress.
Our September challenge is putting all the basics in place so that once your book is ready to publish, you’ll have your author foundation in place.
October’s challenge will focus on getting you ready to build meaningful relationships with your email list of readers.
In November, members will write a lead magnet—a short story or novella you’ll give away in exchange for those emails!
December you’ll put all the pieces in place and start growing your email list!
Motivation & accountability mastermind
Every week, we meet to help you develop and keep a successful romance author mindset. How?
Celebrate a win: Science proves that we remember the things we celebrate so we start every mastermind with a quick, round-robin of everyone sharing one writing win from the previous week.
Brainstorm a couple of challenges: Members are invited to have the group help them troubleshoot something they’re struggling with. It can be about mindset or title ideas or the best tools to achieve a specific goal … If it’s something that will help you progress with your manuscript, it’s fair game to discuss. We usually get through three questions in the hour.
Set a writing target for the week: Your community wants you to succeed and will help you stay accountable. We end each meeting with every participant declaring one thing that will bring them joy to accomplish with their work-in-progress—and we cheer you on.
Editing workshops & blue pencil critiques
It’s never too early to learn tricks to tighten your first draft and simplify the revisions yet to come—and who better to share that knowledge than someone who not only writes romance but edits some of the genre’s bestsellers? (No one!)
Twice monthly, get tips, tricks, and best practices to help you write your best story.
Alternating weeks, join us for blue pencil critiques where one or two lucky (and brave!) authors will have up to 500 words of their story lovingly critiqued. Even if your story isn’t being featured, there’s always something to learn.
Feedback from other romance authors
Feedback is essential. The myth that authors write alone is silly. Perhaps you write the words on your own (though writing sprints are very popular), but moving through the stages to become a published author is not something one wants—or needs—to do in isolation.
The feedback you get from me and other romance authors inside the HEA Den is unlike what you’ll find in many Facebook groups where you’re not sure if the person sharing their thoughts has your best interest in mind and at-heart.
In the Author Ever After community can you feel confident that the feedback you’re getting is sensitive to your needs and desires since we’re a small community of honest and empathetic romance writers, just like you.
Everything you need in one safe and fun space
Between the twice-weekly masterminds and the community forum, I’ll answer every question you have—or find an answer for you
Full access to our community,
real-time chat, and always
open video sprint room
Stay sane and supported as you create all the things you need to have in place before you publish your first romance
Directed by members, meet accomplished romance authors in a private, live Q&A to answer all your “How’d you do it?” questions
From beta readers to critique partners to co-writers to launch pals, relationships will be developed—it’s inevitable and beautiful
Goal setting workshop
Once a quarter, spend two guided hours focused on creating your tailored author work plan for the next twelve weeks